WASHINGTON: Restoring a White House tradition, President Donald Trump will host an Iftar dinner that he had deserted throughout his first year of work in the office.
The Iftar dinner at the White House is scheduled for Wednesday June 6 in honor of the Muslim Islamic holy month of fasting, Ramadan, according to a White House official. However, the list of attendees was not made available.
Former President Thomas Jefferson in December 1805 hosted first White House iftar dinner in honour of Tunisian ambassador Sidi Soliman Mellimelli to the US. Hillary Clinton, then-first lady and now former Secretary of State brought the tradition back in February 1996 hosting about 150 people after learning more about the ritual from her daughter Chelsea.
White House Iftar dinner is usually attended by prominent members of the Muslim community, legislators, diplomats and Congress members went on to become an annual tradition that have carried out by former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton during their presidencies.
But in 2017, the Trump administration broke long-standing tradition upheld by the past three administrations and decided to forego the dinner.
The president has a long historical past of creating inflammatory statements about Muslims community. He faced criticism for his travel ban that restricts seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. During his campaign, he told an interviewer, “I think Islam hates us.”
In marking the start of Ramadan, Trump said in a statement released on May 15, “[T]hose observing Ramadan can strengthen our communities, help those in need, and serve as good examples for how to live a holy life.’